The Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots are facing off in the Super Bowl, but back when they were both struggling AFC teams, Bill Belichick was their savior. But did he really?
The “bill belichick age” is a question that has been on the minds of many football fans. The Carolina Panthers are on the verge of exposing the ugly truth about Bill Belichick.
The Carolina Panthers may play in a different part of the nation than the New England Patriots, but they have a potential to make life difficult for both Bill Belichick and supporters of Robert Kraft’s side who want to see the team return to winning on a regular basis.
After all, Matt Rhule’s squad is ready to reveal the harsh reality about the guy who can’t seem to find the appropriate buttons to press any more.
The Patriots, unlike the Panthers, look to be heading in the opposite way.
In the meanwhile, the Patriots are expected to hold the No. 7 overall choice in the NFL draft in 2022.
Bill Belichick, most likely: https://t.co/illSEGu4To
October 18, 2021 — Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis)
The Panthers may lack a real franchise quarterback (Sam Darnold is still a mystery), but they have plenty of skill on both sides of the ball. The arrow is pointing up in Carolina, with a squad full of young, up-and-coming players that came through the draft.
On the other hand, it’s tough to be optimistic about the Patriots’ prospects. Sure, Mac Jones seems to be capable of managing the squad for many years. However, it’s reasonable to question if Belichick has done enough to prepare the talented quarterback for success.
Despite spending a lot of money on Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry in free agency, neither tight end has shown to be worth a $12.5 million yearly deal. Meanwhile, Nelson Agholor, who inked a two-year, $22 million contract with a monstrous $16 million guaranteed with the Philadelphia Eagles, brought the same pair of hands that made him a lightning rod for criticism. Furthermore, the offensive line has been a total disaster, putting Jones in jeopardy.
The Patriots have a terrible 2-4 record due to obvious difficulties on offense, defense, and special teams (they’ve already allowed two blocked punts). Even though they rank ninth in points allowed, there’s no denying they’ve failed to come up with crucial saves when the game is on the line.
The Panthers, on the other hand?
They have a 3-3 record and are still in the hunt for a postseason place, owing in part to the league’s sixth-best scoring defense.
What’s the terrifying part?
Because to the benevolence (or hubris) of a general manager who continues to make perplexingly awful judgments, things are going to become much better.
Carolina is getting closer to revealing Bill Belichick’s dirty secret.
The Panthers’ Stephon Gilmore enters the field on the same day as the Patriots’ CB3 Jon Jones is absent from practice in New England. https://t.co/whVDGCd9nN
October 20, 2021 — Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis)
Do you think the Patriots would be better off with Stephon Gilmore in the lineup?
Given that Belichick just witnessed the Dallas Cowboys establish a new club record with 567 total yards against his defense, it seems cruel that the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is about to put his coverage abilities on display for yet another team.
However, it is the brutal truth of the case since Belichick judged Gilmore disposable.
With the 31-year-old cornerback practicing again and maybe making his Panthers debut as early as Week 7, the Patriots’ longstanding leader had best be prepared for yet another personnel gaffe. After all, if Gilmore performs as expected with the Panthers, it will simply serve to underscore the sad fact that Belichick no longer deserves to be the man in charge in New England owing to his egregious streak of choices.
When it comes to the Gilmore scenario, it’s impossible not to conclude that the Patriots wasted a good asset. From failing to move him before the 2020 trade deadline to trying to persuade him to remain for the 2021 season to moving him for a future sixth-round selection, it’s evident that Belichick made mistakes almost every step of the way.
Sending Gilmore to Carolina for a third-round pick in 2023 seems short-sighted, particularly considering the Patriots’ cornerback depth woes.
That move, on the other hand, is merely the latest illustration of Belichick’s ineptness as a general manager.
How did it go with kicking Brady out of town? What if you don’t succeed in making Rob Gronkowski happy? Is it true that the Patriots are better now that Chandler Jones is gone?
Consider bypassing your scouts in favor of N’Keal Harry over DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, or A.J. Brown. Of course, this occurred the next year, when Belichick chose Sony Michel over Nick Chubb and Lamar Jackson.
Bill Belichick confronts a difficult assignment in trying to turn around a Patriots squad that has already dug themselves a hole. | Getty Images/Maddie Meyer
It’s tough to ignore what’s going on at Foxborough in terms of roster management at this point. Belichick took satisfaction in being ahead of the game and establishing succession plans in important roles.
What does this say about Belichick as a general manager, however, with Gilmore primed to show he deserves another go at the apple and the Patriots seeming ill-equipped to handle premier passing attacks?
He didn’t think it was essential to give his finest corner a raise after spending $160 million in guaranteed money on free agents this spring. That doesn’t stack up, so it’s no surprise that Gilmore stayed strong and refused to play for the Patriots again until he was paid more.
His quad injury and subsequent surgery raised legitimate concerns about his health. His age didn’t assist his case for a new deal, though. But, after being proved incorrect with Brady and Gronk, Belichick should have trusted Gilmore to go back to 100 percent and gave him a raise to show him the respect he earned.
However, that did not occur, and the Panthers will soon enjoy the benefits of having a healthy, motivated version of a two-time first-team All-Pro cornerback in the lineup.
Meanwhile, to keep No. 1 cornerback J.C. Jackson beyond the season, the Patriots will have to spend a lot of money or utilize the franchise tag. Jalen Mills, who doesn’t seem to be close to justifying his four-year, $24 million contract, elderly slot man Jonathan Jones, disappointing 2019 second-rounder Joejuan Williams, and untested commodities Myles Bryant and Shaun Wade fill out the depth chart.
Isn’t this a bunch that inspires you?
The truth might be painful at times. In this scenario, it’s apparent that Bill Belichick has harmed the Patriots in recent years by making too many bad decisions.
If things keep going this way, Robert Kraft will have to step in before it’s too late.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.
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